Welcome to Core Essentials

fitness studio in downtown Dartmouth

Free Classes

Try out three classes to decide if our service is the right fit for you. Press the button below to sign up.

Start your free class trial


Recent posts

  • Three Sisters Stew Recipe
    Three Sisters Stew Recipe
  • Taking time off fitness
    Taking time off fitness
  • Fall Activities near Dartmouth
    Fall Activities near Dartmouth
  • Weekly Meal Prep Plus Three Recipes
    Weekly Meal Prep Plus Three Recipes
  • Fitness Information Overload
    Fitness Information Overload
  • What to expect in your first kettlebell class
    What to expect in your first kettlebell class
  • Enjoying the Process
    Enjoying the Process
  • What to expect in your first TRX class
    What to expect in your first TRX class
  • Tips for healthy grocery shopping
    Tips for healthy grocery shopping

Our Classes



The origin of barre is based in movements inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates. Students will use a ballet barre for balance while completing a series of exercises designed to engage the legs and glutes while simultaneously working the core and challenging balance. Although there’s an emphasis on strengthening the legs, small hand weights are also used to work the upper body and pilates-style exercises strengthen the abs and core. No dance experience is required.

Learn More


Suspension training allows students to use their own body weight, working against gravity to get a full body workout. Each exercise will help develop strength, balance and flexibility. TRX classes will also incorporate cardio drills for a heart-pumping workout. Exercises using the TRX are easily adjusted to each student’s fitness level making them perfect for both beginners and advanced students.

Learn More


Kettlebells are one of our strength training secret weapons. Use these weights to perform ballistic and dynamic movements that engage the entire body. The technique required can take a little practice, but our knowledgeable instructors are happy to help you answer any questions. These classes combine kettlebell exercises with bootcamp-style movements and challenging core work to keep your mind and body engaged.

Learn More


In bootcamp, exercises are combined to increase your heart rate, build your strength and promote weight loss. Instructors set up dynamic workouts using the TRX, weights, kettlebells and your own bodyweight. Every class is different because pretty much anything goes!

Learn More

Real-Ryder Cycling

Spin classes are sure to get your blood pumping! During this low-impact cardio class, instructors will lead the class through a ride which mimics hills, sprints and turns. At Core Essentials we use the RealRyder bikes which move side-to-side up to 18 degrees. This allows students to get a more dynamic ride that engages their core and arms.

Learn More


Feeling stiff?  This class is about increasing flexibility and range of motion. Using the foam roller as well as the lacrosse balls you will leave this class feeling better than when you walked in.

Learn More

Frequently asked questions

You can sign up online by entering your information online at: New to Core Essentials.

Once you enter your contact details, one of our staff will email you back with your login information and you will be able to sign up for your first three classes at no charge.
You can also come into the studio and sign up in person. We recommend you email or call ahead to ensure we have a spot available for you in class.

All you need to bring is:
Workout clothes (whatever you feel comfortable sweating in).
Indoor shoes (expect for Barre class you can be in socks or bare feet).
A water bottle. We have a water cooler in the gym if you need to fill it up.
The best way to find out more about personal training us is to book a free consultation with us. We can set up a time for you to meet us in the studio or chat over the phone. To book your consultation send us a direct message: Find out more about personal coaching.


Email –

Telephone – (902) 407-3338

At Core Essentials we have small class sizes, so an instructor is always there to give you advice or provide alterations. All of our classes are meant to be accessible to beginners. By going at your own pace and making alterations when needed, you can adjust the difficulty of any of our classes.

If you’re looking for a recommendation for a class to start with we recommend our TRX class. TRX is a great because it is very adjustable and you can match the exercises to your comfort level. Our Wednesday TRX blast class is 30 mins making it a bit shorter than the rest of our classes.
We also offer a free consultation to anyone who is interested. In the consultation we can address any concerns you might have. To book a consultation email or call us at:

Email –

Telephone – (902) 407-3338

Our class sizes at Core are small and our instructors love having new students. The instructor will demonstrate each movement before you begin, so you do not need any experience before coming to your first Barre class.
Barre is a great workout for improving strength and flexibility and will offer some variety that you can not get from our other classes.
Most students will practice Barre in bare feet but socks or shoes are fine to wear.
We offer Barre class on:
6:30 pm on Monday
6:30 pm on Wednesday
We do offer support for charities. We regularly will donate services to charities and teams to be used at auctions. Email or call us to find out more information.

Email –

Telephone – (902) 407-3338

Our monthly unlimited class option is $100. We also have a 10 class pack for $130 which does not expire. Before your purchase anything you are able to take your first three classes for free, to try out our services.
Our personal training rates vary from $30 to $60 dollars per session depending on the package you choose.
Our team rates vary depending on the size of the team.
Please contact us if you have any questions.

Email –

Telephone – (902) 407-3338

Personal Coaching

Find out if personalized coaching is right for you. Schedule your first session by using the button below.

Schedule free Consultation

Located in Dartmouth Core Essentials offers personal training that is totally customized based on your individual requirements and goals. At Core we feel this personalization is important for your success. Since each session is designed with you in mind, it allows us to challenge you, which encourages constant exercise progression, keeps you interested through variety and, of course, deliver results.

From the complete beginner to a well-conditioned, regular exerciser, we offer several types of personal fitness training sessions. From one-on-one workout sessions, to couples, to small group training. We have a variety of packages that vary in price based on the length of the session and the size of the package. Once we know what you’re looking for we can create a plan that works for you.

Would you like to schedule a time to discuss personal training? You can join us in the gym or we can give you a call to talk about the details of your personal training needs. To schedule a time to talk to someone from Core Essentials enter your information under “Contact us”.

Couples/Partner Training
There’s no better way to workout than with a friend. Training with a partner will help you stick to a schedule, which will minimize the number of missed workouts. Good training partners will also help each other push their limits. Like with everything else in life, a little competition helps people strive to do their best.

Small group training
Get a group of friends together for a private class or training session. Group sessions are a great way to fit fitness into your budget and lifestyle.

Core Essentials offers private sessions in everything from barre class and kettlebells to stretching and spin class. We will be able to match the style of the class to suit your needs.

Small groups are from 3-10 people. Our rates vary depending on numbers contact us to find out more.

Athletes of all ages and abilities now demand more than general fitness programs. They want sport conditioning: functional and athletic training aimed at greater strength, power, speed, agility, coordination and balance.

At Core Essentials we offer individual, small group and team sport conditioning programs. We use techniques which build a foundation of core strength, joint stability and functional fitness; while also promoting a lifestyle philosophy of health and fitness.

We have one mission: the relentless pursuit of excellence. This elite level of fitness can be achieved by maximizing competence in the following fitness domains:

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance
Your sport conditioning training program will reflect the particularity of your sport. We will assess the needs of your sport, your position and your individual potential and deliver a training cycle from non-competitive season to peak-season that will see you excel to your true potential.

About Us

           Core Essentials is a small studio gym located in downtown Dartmouth. We offer classes, personal training and team training. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming space for both fitness beginners and more experienced gym-goers. Since our classes are small, it allows our instructors to offer specialized suggestions to match your fitness level whether it’s making something easier or increasing the challenge.

           Our mission is to help our clients make lasting changes. When you decide to improve your fitness, you have made one decision that will open the door to different choices each day. At Core we know it takes a commitment to positive habits to achieve success, regardless of where you are starting. We support you in the gym and strive to support you beyond our walls. Take the stairs. Skip the soda. Look forward to the gym. At Core Essentials you aren’t just training for one goal, you’re training for life.

Meet our trainers

Ben Costigan

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University 2012.

My passion for fitness started at a young age when I began training at the YMCA. I was 13 and they made me take a trainer course so I would be allowed to use the equipment unsupervised. I lived out of town so the option was go to the YMCA after school or stay in daycare program… the option was simple so at 13 I started spending 5 days a week in the gym. I was not ever a very gifted athlete when I first started sports being smaller than most of my peers and significantly slower. However I did not let anyone out work me and when I began to see improvements from the gym on the field I was truly addicted. Throughout high school I played football and rugby and later went on to play rugby for Dalhousie. It was in my second season of rugby at Dalhousie that I broke my ankle, sidelining me from the sport. I had suffered multiple concussions from rugby already so all in all maybe for the best to stop while I was a head.
With rugby done though I needed another challenge to push myself. I have been chasing different fitness goals now for the past 4 years most of which have been crossfit inspired. My claim to fame currently is 1000 burpees in just over 2 hours (I do not recommend this workout to anyone who wish to move around for the next two days).

I love fitness and it this love of fitness that makes me excited every day to come into the gym. Consistency is the key to health and the easiest way to stay consistent is to keep it fun. When fitness is fun a hard workout becomes a challenge, a sore day is an accomplishment and an awesome physique is the result.

Ben has worked with multiple sports team in the past and has trained endurance athletes, bodybuilding competitors as well as provincial level rugby players and golfers. Ben excels at programing and is very technical when breaking down movements. He will not make you do 1000 burpees… unless you book a double session.

Monique Andrea

Monique Andrea has been a fitness enthusiast for the past twenty-five years. Monique took her passion for fitness to a new level in 2007 when she changed careers from full time social worker to part time personal trainer and spin instructor. This allowed more time for both her fitness and her family. Monique is a native of Dartmouth and enjoys utilizing the many resources for fitness that Dartmouth has to offer. She can often be seen off road riding through Shubie Park or speeding down Waverly Road on her road bike (in good weather of course!). Monique also enjoys doing functional workouts and resistance training…always striving to improve. Monique is certified through Can Fit Pro as a personal training specialist. She also has a B.A. in Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Work degree. With her unique educational and work background she will be sure to find ways to motivate you to reach your goals. Monique is excited to be a Real Ryder instructor bringing the indoor riding experience closer to the outdoor experience and is looking forward to seeing you at Core Essentials!

Olivia Schneider

Like many little girls, I grew up dancing. At 6-years old I wanted to be a ballerina, until I was about 8-years old when I decided Riverdance was my dream. I stopped dreaming about becoming a professional dancer when I started dreaming about becoming a veterinarian (which, for the record, I am not), but I never lost my love of fitness and movement. In middle school I played soccer and took horseback riding lessons, and in high school I was a member of the rowing and rugby teams. Being a dependable and hard-working member of the team was huge motivation for me.

As a university student, health and fitness became a struggle. I didn’t play on any teams, and I fell into unhealthy eating habits. Then I started going to group fitness classes, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them. The sense of community and accountability I felt when I exercised in a group reminded me of having that feeling when I played team sports. Once I took a barre class, I was hooked. I love the precision of the movements and the opportunity to challenge yourself each class. It’s not about competition–it really is about the effort. It’s a great feeling when you can plié deeper or hold a plank longer than you did the month before. Plus, it’s an awesome workout! I love rock-climbing, and I’ve noticed that barre has been great cross-training for strength and balance.

I’m also pretty passionate about eating. I even have a vegetarian food blog called MJ Food Blog. Over the last few years, I’ve learned that eating well doesn’t have to feel like deprivation. Gaining confidence in the kitchen was a life-changer for me, so if you’re ever looking for a new plant-focused recipe or a tip for the crispiest oven fries, then I’m your girl!

Contact information

If you have a question give us a call or send us an email. Our staff will get back to you shortly.

  • (902) 407-3338
  • 31 Queen st. Dartmouth, NS

Contact Us